Panama Head Coach Hernan Dario Gomez has selected his final squad to face Trinidad and Tobago in next Friday’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
The last time Panama played in Port of Spain in a World Cup qualifier in Port of Spain, T&T came away 2-0 winners with Stern John opening the scoring in the first half and Dennis Lawrence netting the second item after the break.
The match was also Leo Beenhakker’s first Word Cup qualifier in charge of the Men’s National Team and this coming fixture will also be Lawrence’s first World Cup qualifier since his appointment as head coach of the T&T Team.
Panama has included a number of returning veterans, including goalkeeper Jaime Penedo; defenders Roman Torres and Felipe Baloy; midfielders Anibal Godoy, Armando Cooper and Alberto Quintero; and forwards Luis Tejada and Blas Perez.
Of note is former U.S. international Tony Taylor, who completed a switch to represent Panama. Having beaten Honduras and holding Mexico to a 0-0 draw, Panama has four points and a 1-0-1 mark in the Hex.
Lawrence will announce his final roster on the weekend. Captain for last Friday’s friendly with Barbados, Marvin Phillip said he was pleased with the progress shown by the home-based players in the preparations at the moment.
“I think the team responded well to what the coach emphasised on in the past training sessions. Maybe at times we could played at a quicker rate but it was a good outing, Phillip told TTFA Media.
“So far we've had a good time training under him. We have a lot of respect towards him and the rest of the staff and I think that is a major factor in the response he is getting from the players. We have a few players coming into the squad next week and it’s just about getting the camaraderie and love gong again and put all our energies into the training and going out there and getting it right in these two games against Panama and Mexico,” Phillip added.
The Panama team is:
GOALKEEPERS: Jaime Penedo (Dinamo Bucharest), Jose Calderon (Real Cartagena)
DEFENDERS: Roman Torres (Seattle Sounders), Felipe Baloy (Tauro), Harold Cummings (San Jose Earthquakes), Amir Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Luis Ovalle (Zamora), Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo), Fidel Escobar (Sporting Lisbon B), Erick Davis (Dunajska Streda)
MIDFIELDERS: Anibal Godoy (San Jose Earthquakes), Armando Cooper (Toronto FC), Miguel Camargo (NYCFC), Ricardo Avila (Koper), Edgar Barcenas (Tapachula), Gabriel Gomez (Atletico Bucaramanga), Amilcar Henriquez (Arabe Unido), Josiel Nunez (Plaza Amador), Alberto Quintero (Universitario)
FORWARDS: Blas Perez (Blooming), Abdiel Arroyo (Danubio), Luis Tejada (Universitario), Tony Taylor (Pacos de Ferreira), Gabriel Torres (Lausanne Sport)